mcberko (8289) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 9, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500mL bottle, sent from Glouglouburp (thanks a lot, Dany!), pours black with a small tan head. Nose is very complex, still bringing out more of the black IPA base beer than the barrel notes, with the hops still present after the barrel aging and subsequent aging time. Moderately roasted malts underpin the hops. Very subtle red wine and oak qualities are present, but they are certainly secondary. Flavour is very complex, bringing out the best of both worlds: caramel and roasted malt upfront, followed by the hops, with complex but subtle barrel qualities that accentuate everything else going on, finishing on a vinous, hoppy note. The carbonation has somehow become more aggressive than the regular Society & Solitude #2 Ė I feel this could do with a tad softer mouthfeel. I do much prefer the regular Society & Solitude #2. Nevertheless, yet another expertly crafted Hill Farmstead brew, though not in their upper echelon I feel.
Scopey (8249) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - APR 10, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle consumed at THE stouts tasting part 2, big thanks to Mr L-to-the-eighton. It pours very dark brown with a medium beige head. The nose is varnish, pine, charcoal, caramel, sweet treacle, toast and faint cocoa. The taste is roasted malt, berry, red grape, plum, vinous, cocoa, powder, earth and wood with a very, very dry finish. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation and sticky mouth-feel. A creative and interesting "black ipa" for sure, but far too dry for my liking.
JorisPPattyn (8224) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JUL 14, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Good tan/brown head over virtually black beer; shards of lace. Chocolate, sweet liquorice, garden herbs and leaves. Stout-like taste, littel impact of the hops; again liquorice & chocolate. Finish yields the barrel-aging, even Bourbon (rather than wine), and a light, refreshing acidity. Rich MF, alleviated by fine CO≤ pearling. Rich for its purpose, barrel aging has done a world of good. Thanks to the kind donator!
DrSilverworm (7938) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 17, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
500ml bottle, big thanks to phaleslu for sharing! Dark brown / black color. Thin brown head. Good, thicker lace. Smooth, dry, kind of soft carbonation. Medium to bigger body. Lighter, softer texture. Kind of tart taste... Moderate bitter, good roast malt, light dark chocolate. Very toasty. Kind of tart, sweet taste. OK barrel aged black IPA, a lot of tart, tannic character here that is unwelcome for me. WTF? Iím not really interested in a sour black IPA. Right now... itís a decent sour black saison, at best. OK beer as it is, but I expected much more from this
arminjewell (7862) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - AUG 5, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour out of 22 oz bottle, thanks to Steve for the pour! Dark brownish black with tan head, aroma has notes of pine, grass, orange, some lemon, grass notes, hints of some slight oak, touch of slight grape notes. Taste is a nice mix of grass, pine, bready caramel notes, hints of orange, some nice oak, grape mixes with fruit, hints of roast, finishing fairly roasted, fruity and slightly oaky. I like this.
j12601 (7350) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAY 23, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle courtesy of Dany that I shared with Andy, Max, and Pearl prior to our trip to the Hill Anniversary. Pours a deep black with a thin beige head. A touch of wood and smoke, hints of roast and cocoa, light dusty old hops. Caramel, roast and cocoa. Perhaps a bit more age on this than it should have, but I felt I needed to save it for friends, so thatís my fault. Though, maybe itís one of those things that just changes in strange and unexpected ways. Who can say. The wine barrel does start to come through about midway, getting a touch vinous and woody. Warming alcohol and big heavy roast comes through toward the end. Iíd be interested in trying a very fresh bottle of this (though with the barrel aging on a black ipa Iím not sure hop the hops would translate anyway).
phaleslu (7185) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 15, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
500 ml bottle via BA trade. Pours a deep brown with mahogany highlights and a small fizzy brown head. The beer is lighter than Jim but the head is darker. Strange but cool. Aroma of dark fruits and oak, definitely picking up the wine barrel character, along with dark chocolate, florals, citrus fruit, and herbs. Flavor of chocolate, roast, earth, citrus peel, and a deep, underlying vinous character throughout it all. Medium-bodied, with a vinous, mildly bitter, roasty mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Really interesting black IPA. Stil drinking very well.
Glouglouburp (6104) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 25, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
In short: An original, hoppy and very oaky big black beer.
How: Bottle 500ml. First and only batch so far. Twice. This rating for a bottle consumed 4 months after the beer release.
The look: Black body topped by a medium tan head with good retention and leaving lots of lacings on the glass.
In long: Interesting nose blending dark berries, soft liquorice candy, mild vinous oak presence, subtle piney hops. The base beer (Society and Solitude #2) is unrecognizable yet the aroma is really not overwhelmed by the barrels, itís entirely a new beer. Taste is dark berries jam swimming in bittersweet chocolate, some black liquorice, earthy notes, burnt molasses, unexpected black pepper sensation, some piney hops resin, a whole lot of oak tannins, a bit of booze. The finish is very harsh (burning sensation) with the astringent oak tannins raking back of the mouth along with some hops resin and some booze. A smoother carbonation would have been more appropriate. Very good big beer, an original creation that defies style classification and offers lots of complexity, yet I found it a bit too harsh and not quite up to my expectations from this great brewery. This is my 5500th rating, what an achievement, but letís be honest, we the top-100 raters on ratebeer are collectively one big argument against the theory of evolution.
egajdzis (5497) - Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nearly opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla, red wine, citrus, pine, light roast and some floral hops. Taste of some roasted malts, vanilla, red wine, tobacco, cocoa, and a creamy mouthfeel. I liked Jim better.
nimbleprop (5469) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - OCT 29, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Oily opaque black with some tan head. Nose of coffee, hop pellets, very dank, chocolate, earthy, wet soil. Flavor is even better, sweet, chocolate, pine, grapes, earthy, coffee grounds, dried lemon peel. Full bodied, earthy finish. A little hot. Really earthy. For those who donít think black IPAs work, you have to try this. Plenty of coffee/porter flavor and plenty of citrus/IPA flavors. Excellent.